Claims About Brain-Boosting Inteligen Pill Supplement-Unproven!
Summary of eRumor:
Benefits of the power of a supplement called “Inteligen” to increase intelligence have been trumpeted by the likes of CNN’s Anderson Cooper and Stephen Hawking.
There’s no scientific proof that Inteligen actually increases intelligence, focus or memory recall — so you should be leery of any promises that it makes.
The issue with products like Inteligen is that they’re considered “supplements” under the law, so the FDA does not subject them to oversight. That means the maker of Inteligen doesn’t have to back up its spectacular claims that the supplement can “enhance focus, boosts intelligence and increase your productivity.”
Inteligen’s website describes the product as a blend of “nutrients, amino acids and vitamin B6” that boosts brain function. Those ingredients and claims are so vague that they’re impossible to fact-check.
And rumors that Stephen Hawking backed Inteligen in an interview with Anderson Cooper have been used to lend credibility to the supplement — but they’re not true. The same tactic has been used to make it (falsely) appear that Cooper and Hawking have endorsed a number of brain-boost supplements, and Inteligen is just the most recent.
One article, for example, reports that Hawking talked about the benefits of a different brain-boosting supplement, BrainPlus IQ, during an interview with Cooper. In later versions, “BrainPlus IQ” will simply be repalced with “Inteligen”:
In an interview with Anderson Cooper, Stephen Hawking said that his ability to predict the future doesn’t exist, but his brain is sharper than ever, more clear and focused, and he credits a large part to using BrainPlus IQ. Hawking went on to add “The brain is like a muscle, you have to work it out and use supplements just like body builders use, but for your brain, and that’s exactly what I’ve been doing to enhance my mental capabilities”.
The interview never took place, and we couldn’t find any record of Hawking actually endorsing any brain-boosting supplements.
The medical director of the Byrd Alzheimer’s Institute at the University of South Florida said supplements like Inteligen and BrainPlus IQ “give people false hope,” The Tampa Bay Times reports:
Many doctors say the supplements lack scientific evidence to prove they work, and as nutritional supplements, they are not regulated by the federal government as are medications. The ads tout clinical trials, but these are at best small, short-term tests published in journals that are not well-known or respected — hardly comparable with accepted medical standards.
Some brain supplements do contain ingredients that have been studied extensively and are used widely for memory disorders. The moss extract huperzine A, found in Procera AVH (a different brain-boosting supplement), has similar properties to the Alzheimer’s drug Aricept, and is the most common treatment for Alzheimer’s in China, Smith said.
But with vague labeling and little regulation, there’s no way to know how much of these ingredients are in any supplement, or how high their quality is.
In the end, there’s no scientific proof that any of these supplements work. Talk to your doctor before trying them, or avoid them all together.